2020 Conference Call for Proposals

The 2020 Virtual International Town & Gown Association's City & University Relations Conference ™️​
June 1-3 (12:00-4:00) EDT 

Partners in Action
Call for Proposals are open until eob Friday, May 15th.   
The International Town & Gown Association (ITGA) is privileged to host its first virtual conference June 1-3, noon-4:00 p.m. (EDT) each day. This will be the most important conference in ITGA history, with presentations on current events and future initiatives tied to COVID-19. The 2020 conference theme is "Partners in Action." 

As captured in Forbes Magazine that referenced an ITGA webinar, town and gown relationships - and new thinking on same - have never been more important. 

ITGA is now accepting interactive conference proposals on these tracks:  

Track 1: Crisis Communication and Community Engagement: This track will dial in to overarching themes and practical responses in effective information sharing during a crisis. It will also cover colleagues discussing the civic and community contributions and projects that have changed or adapted during this time, with suggested topics: 
  • Effectively communicating directly with your own city or university constituencies through a crisis;
  • Engaging partners in a unified communication strategy and execution;
  • Responding to press inquiries;
  • Earned media: sharing stories of hope through especially challenging times;
  • Diversifying outreach: how and where to engage different populations;
  • All forms of emergency communication: responsiveness, timing, balance, clarity in messaging; 
  • New opportunities or adapted existing opportunities to further connect the campus and community. 

Track 2: Off-Campus Life and Neighborhood Challenges: This track will consider the changing landscape of town gown communities and explore challenges facing our neighborhoods and communities at this time, as well as considering the emerging opportunities for collaboration on community strategies, fostering partnerships and leading practices.  This track includes economic, social, developmental, and cultural programs, with suggested topics:  
  • Effective strategies for engaging students remotely/virtually or through hybrid learning options for summer semester and beyond (e.g. virtual housing fairs, identifying housing options, and student education); 
  • Assisting students with negotiating current and future leases, cancellation policies, rent reductions;
  • Education programs on landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities; 
  • Responding to noise concerns, community policing strategies, increasing number of day and evening parties;
  • Finding new ways to foster positive, sustainable community relationships – using a restorative approach with students and neighbors to build a healthy neighborhood, working with student and neighbors in connecting in meaningful ways and responding to neighborhood/community concerns;
  • Supporting socioeconomic challenges (including housing and food insecurity programs) and redefining how to support local communities through volunteerism and service learning.

Track 3: Economic Recovery and Innovation: This track will focus on new strategies and partnerships on shared town-gown interests and economies, with suggested topics:
  • Workforce/economic development, community-based funds, and local/state/federal collaborations;
  • Aligning higher-ed expertise, programs, and coursework with community startups, emerging business markets, and incubators/accelerators;
  • Developing clarity and collaborations with local/statewide business organizations, county/municipal governments, and colleges/universities with siloed programs on parallel tracks; 
  • Best practices, lessons learned, unexpected success stories.

Submission Requirements: 

  • Title of presentation
  • Name of contact person, contact information and name of co-presenters 
  • Track #
  • Description of the format and outline of the content and key messages 
  • Abstract in 75 words describing your program session (to be used in conference schedule) 
  • Learning outcomes 

Presentation Information and Important Dates:

  • Sessions are 45 minutes long with 15 minutes for Q&A. 
  • The proposal deadline is on or before eob Friday, May 15th.
  • You will be notified on the status of your proposal on or before Wednesday, May 20th. 
For questions, contact Susan@itga.org.